If you are an active boater or an outdoorsman, we have all had that situation where we tell our loved ones that we will be home at a certain hour. I happen to be a big time fisherman and spend most of my time offshore and out of cell phone range. It got to the point where my girlfriend and mother would call the US Coast Guard after sundown terrified that I had not returned back to the dock yet. Embarrassed that they had now done this for the 3rd time, I had to find a way to keep in contact with them while on other people’s boats. After tons of research, I decided to go with the Garmin inReach Explorer+. It is simple to use, offers easy connectivity to my iPhone and has tracking capabilities from my home computer and phone. I was sold.
Six months after I purchased my inReach, I was in the Bahamas reef fishing about 60 miles from where I was staying. We pulled anchor after the coolers were full and headed out into the channel to look for tunas. Right when the anchor came into the boat we started getting a steering sensor alarm. We had zero turning ability and the motors were frozen fully turned to starboard. We were drifting out to the deep water in the opposite direction of the island we were staying. What do we do? We started trying to drive the trip engine boat with the outside motors but being stuck hard right we were just going in circles. I quickly pulled the inReach out of my bag and began texting with the head service tech at the manufacturer. He informed me of an override to get the motors back straight. After doing this we were able to get back to decent shallow water and throw the anchor again so at least we were not drifting out to sea. We continued to troubleshoot via text on the inReach Explorer. We were eventually able to be walked through the reset and repair of the malfunctioning steering sensor.
The inReach Explorer+ literally SAVED THE DAY! When purchasing the device I always said it’s a great item to have so that my girlfriend and mother know where I am in case I fell in, or the boat sank. I never thought about the simple design and ability to communicate when broken down or needing repairs. This is now a HUGE deal to us. I can’t imagine going out on the water without my Garmin inReach.
*This post was written by Garmin Ambassador and photographer, Jason Spiewak. Follow Jason’s fishing adventures on Instagram at @thejasonspiewak.